458 Meylert St Laporte PA 18626
Sullivan County was created on March 15, 1847 from part of Lycoming County. It was named after Senator Charles C. Sullivan, Butler County, who took an active part in procuring passage of the bill. Click here to read more about the history of the county.
The Historical Society was incorporated in 1938. The Society has set as its mission the acquisition, preservation, display and demonstration of those elements of daily life used by the people of Sullivan County. The Society is committed to the preservation of information and artifacts dealing with events and situations, both common and unique to the county, to ensure the availability of historical data for present and future generations.
The Society, personally and collectively, is committed to the education of the people in the county and extended communities of the necessity and significance of preserving and presenting data, artifacts and historical lessons for all people. As the ways and the utilities of the past are the best indicators of progression into the future, the Society aims to preserve and restore elements of the past by the present, to ensure safekeeping for future generations.
Today, the Society maintains a Museum complex consisting of the Main Building, the Baldwin House and garden, the Barn and wagon shed, and the Celestia property.
The Main Building includes the original 34' square portion built in the 1880's, which was used in 1894 to house the Courthouse records while a new Courthouse (the County's second, and existing nucleus of the present building) was being built. The Society acquired the use of half of this nucleus in 1956 to be used as the beginning of a 'home' for the Society's acquisitions. The Pauline Holcombe Wing was added to the original section in 1988 to further expand the facility.
The Baldwin House depicts life circa 1850 - 1880. The garden is reminiscent of the herbs and flowers that could be found in a nineteenth century garden.
The Barn and wagon shed are utilized for displays having to do with outdoor artifacts which are displayed by subject.
The Society also owns the site of Celestia. This utopia was a religious community that was founded in the 1850's by Millennialists (Millerites). It was abandoned in the 1880's after the death of its leader, Peter Armstrong. At one time, the land was deeded to God. But, God paid no taxes, and the land was eventually repurchased by the Armstrong family at a sheriff’s sale. It is located 1 1/2 miles south of Laporte on Rt. 42.
The entire complex, when utilized for viewing, research and education, is made available during regular hours, or by appointment, for individuals or groups to tour the facility.
The Sullivan County Historical Society has always worked with an ongoing plan aimed at the availability of acquisitions and educating the public about Sullivan County's history having to do with all aspects of its making and its people. The contents of the Society's museum are for all age groups.
To perpetuate the Museum's success, all articles and items within it are donated acquisitions. All those who help in the Museum are volunteers. The many visitors primarily come through good word of mouth. The hours are made available, whether "officially" open hours or by appointment, for all visitors. Many senior citizens, home and public school children, family reunion groups, bus groups and sister historical societies elect to come in for more private tours during unofficial hours.
The visitor can literally take his own tour with minimal guidance from docents. Along the way, identity tags, large font descriptions or accompanying compilings will satisfy curiosity for practically all subjects. The Society has arranged displays by subject in each of their respective areas so as to keep the attention on one specific subject centralized for the visitor. This method has led many visitors to discover subjects that they otherwise had no interest in prior to viewing the displays.
The ALL volunteer staff of the Society is its greatest hidden treasure. Being a small rural county, the volunteers very often have greater knowledge than even they realize about subjects having to do with Sullivan County.
Main Street, Dushore, late 1800's
Downtown Dushore, late 1800's
The Exchange Hotel, Dushore, ~ 1908
Copyright 2012 Sullivan County PA Historical Society and Museum. All rights reserved.